Earth photos

Iridescent clouds A planet full of mystery

Iridescent clouds A planet full of mystery

Before sunrise over the mountains, the sky lit up with different colors. The unexpected light was caused by a group of iridescent clouds, and filmed in early September in Arolla, Wallis, Switzerland. The foreground peak of the image above is Aiguille de la Tsa.

Iridescent clouds contain areas of water droplets of almost equal sizes that can therefore diffract sunlight fairly evenly. The different colors will be diverted at different levels so the observer will see them coming from slightly different directions.

Iridescent clouds may be better observed outside the direct rays of the Sun, although occasionally they can be seen around it.

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Album: Photos of the Earth and the Moon Gallery: A planet full of mystery